Oz East Coast LNG Exports to China Take a Hit in Feb
LNG exports from projects located on the Australian east coast to China were hit in February by the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19), data published by Gladstone Ports Corporation on March 6 indicate.
The three LNG export projects – ConocoPhillips-Origin Energy Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG), Shell’s Queensland Curtis LNG and the Santos-led Gladstone LNG – in the state of Queensland shipped 1.05mn metric tons of LNG to China in February, down over 15% yr/yr, the data showed.
There was widespread expectation that Chinese consumption would take a hit because of the Covid-19 outbreak. China – the world's biggest LNG importer – has been calling forces majeures on some of its purchase contracts, in response to weak demand.
Despite a sharp fall in exports to China, overall exports, however, rose close to 3% yr/yr to 1.79mn mt thanks to a spike in shipments to Malaysia. The three projects shipped 27 cargoes last month versus 26 in February 2019. In addition to China and Malaysia, other major importers last month were South Korea and Japan.
Malaysia imported 246,410 mt in February as against 61,446 mt in the same month last year. South Korea imported 226,454 mt of LNG, down from 294,808 mt in the same month of last year, the data showed. Japan imported 193,756 mt of LNG, versus 142,563 mt a year earlier.